Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel
Information Not Currently Available
2 Days / 1 Night
Day 1 (L/D)
Depart from Haifa port and drive to Jerusalem. Familiar names will catch your attention all along the way. Upon arrival in the capital, begin with a magnificent view over the Golden City from atop the Mount Scopus. Then, walk through Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent the last moments before his arrest. Early Christians were already holding gatherings here before the first church was built around AD 380. Visit the beautiful church that is here today and see some of the oldest olive trees remaining in Jerusalem. Re-board your coach for the short drive to Mt Zion and a visit to the Room of the Last Supper as well as King David's Tomb. Enter the Old City on foot via the Zion Gate and walk through the Jewish Quarter and the Roman Cardo to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the site of Christ's resurrection. The original vast sanctuary built here by Emperor Constantine was destroyed centuries later, but a replacement was eventually rebuilt by the Crusaders. Inside the church you will see the last five Stations of the Cross. Walk through the colorful bazaar en route to the Jaffa Gate. After lunch, drive to Bethlehem and visit the Church of Nativity, built above the place Christ is said to have been born. The actual Cave of the Nativity is a small crypt with a vaulted masonry roof. Poor Bethlehem families used the rocky hollows of the region as stables or dwellings, so the tradition that places the Nativity in a cave is not at odds with the story of the Manger. On your way out of Bethlehem, you will have an opportunity to shop for souvenirs before you return to Jerusalem. Check into your hotel and after dinner enjoy an evening drive around the illuminated walls and monuments of the city, including a visit to the Western (Wailing) Wall. This is the last vestige of the ramparts that surround the Holy Temple. Observe the crowds who come to pray by the ancient stones.
Overnight at the Leonardo Jerusalem (or similar) after an exciting and memorable day.
Day 2 (B/L)
After breakfast and hotel check-out, begin your panoramic drive to the Judean Desert. On the way you will pass Jericho and stop at Qumran to take a photo of the cave where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Continue driving along the shores of the Dead Sea to Masada. Visit the Masada Fortress, located a little to the north of ancient Sodom. The mountain fortress looms high above the Dead Sea's desolated landscape. It has often been described as the most spectacular archaeological site in Israel. Here, King Herod built a luxurious refuge complete with magnificent palaces, swimming pools and excavated rock cisterns to supply water. Around AD 73, after a long Roman siege, more than 950 Jews took their own lives at Masada rather than face a future of slavery. A cable car will convey you to the summit for a walk around the site of this last stand. Among the fascinating sights are the wall, bathhouses, upper palace, synagogue, church cisterns, western palace, Roman ramp, and swimming pool. Re-board the coach and descend more than 1,400 feet to the lowest place on the surface of our planet—the Dead Sea. You’ll arrive at Ein Bokek in time for lunch at a hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. After lunch, take a swim in these waters that are so mineral-rich, you can't sink! Later this afternoon you will meet the ship in Ashdod.
Bring your swimsuit, a towel, sunscreen, and a hat. Important: It is each guest’s sole responsibility to obtain (before traveling) any visas, vaccinations and/or tourist cards that are required for participating in overland adventures or overnight tours, unless noted otherwise in the description. Please be aware that you may need a visa for any and/or all countries that you will depart from and travel through as part of your overland adventure or overnight tour, and for the country in which you will re-join the ship.
Visa requirements for these vacation enhancements may vary from those required for your cruise. It is solely each guest's responsibility to obtain (before traveling) any visas, vaccinations or tourist cards that are required for participating in Overland Adventures or Overnights, unless noted otherwise in the description. Please be aware that you may need a visa for any and/or all countries that you will depart from and travel through as part of your Overland Adventure or Overnight, and for the country in which you will re-join the ship. If you require further assistance, Holland America Line's preferred visa service is CIBTvisas. You must advise CIBTvisas of your Overland Adventures or Overnights, as the visa requirements for these vacation enhancements may vary from those required for your cruise. For CIBTvisas contact information, please visit <https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/faq.cruise-preparation.visa-service-provider.html> .